SNES Reviews
SNES Sanctuary
Obscure SFC Hub
Planet SEGA Saturn
Magazine MADNESS
Retro Fire

Written: 1.14.14
Acquired: 1.20.06
Status: Cart only
Price: $5

Pub: KonamiDec. '93
Dev: Konami16 MEGS

Back in the early-mid '90s fighting games ruled the scene. Street Fighter II launched a phenomenon that spawned clone after clone. Very few came close to the level of Street Fighter. Some were even downright ATROCIOUS. But once in a while, one came along that completely surprised you. One of those games was a Super Nintendo exclusive. It never even came out in the arcades, but Konami could have fooled me. Its name... TMNT Tournament Fighters
Happy 20th anniversary to the best home-grown fighter on SNES

                                                                           "IT'S SF 2 TURBO WITH DEATH MOVES!"

Those were the haunting, earth-shattering words of my brother's friend, Kerwin, back in December '93. According to him, he had just played this new and amazing fighting game -- one that he claimed had "Fatality" like moves during combat and one that actually played better than Street Fighter II Turbo. If I did not know any better, I'd have thought Kerwin worked for Konami himself. At that time, I had never conceived of anything like the idea of death moves. These were essentially SUPER special moves that dealt out a TREMENDOUS amount of damage and could only be done when your 2nd bar was full. Just the idea of two energy bars blew my 10 year old mind, let alone the idea of a screen-filling mega big flashy super special maneuver. Maybe there was another game that had already done this at the time, but alI I knew was, Tournament Fighters was my first exposure to the wonderful wacky world of super specials, as well as for my gaming crew. And it's one of those epic memories you always carry with you, in your gaming heart. TMNT: Tournament Fighters would have been boss even without their Ultimate Attacks but WITH them it makes for one truly amazing fighting game

Since late 1993, death moves have become a
key staple in the genre. Everything from looks to command has become crazier and crazier. By comparison, these ones may seem tame today... but man, back in the day, they were something else!
Street Fighter II Turbo... but with death moves?!  Blew our minds

Tournament Fighters has two bars. One serves as your energy bar while the second fills up everytime you land a blow, whether directly or blocked. It's a free flowing bar, meaning that if you are not on the offensive, the bar swings back the other way slowly but surely. Thus, a great deal of emphasis is put on being aggressive, rather than defensive. Otherwise, you'll find yourself up shit creek without a paddle as your opponent unleashes his possibly two or even three times in one match. When full, the bar ignites and you have three seconds to perform your super special. If you fail to execute your big move in that time frame, then the bar swings back the other way. Thankfully, it moves one smidgen at a time. Meaning if for whatever reason you couldn't pull off your big move, just one or two more (blocked) attacks will see your bar refilled once more. It was a brilliant and innovative feature for its time. Back in December of 1993, none of my gaming crew nor I had ever seen anything like the Ultimate Attacks. And we loved them. It changed the dynamic of a typical fighting game match, and some of the screen-filling moves were truly awe-inspiring 20 years ago

However, there were some downsides to the Ultimate Attacks, though. Namely, since you only had about three seconds to unleash it... human opponents are very likely to block it. Even though some can cause a good deal of damage when blocked, it would be better if there was no time limit and the bar could remain full until you were ready to bust it out. It would have led to a bit more strategy. Instead, the game plays like a mad melee, which
is not bad in its own right. Props for having 'em at all
The Ultimate Attacks helped made it stand out in a packed genre

                                              A LITTLE GOOD OLD CHRISTMAS MAGIC... IN JANUARY

Having hounded both my parents about Clay Fighter and with 'em knowing how disappointed I was that I didn't get it or even a video game that Christmas, my mom decided to allow me to buy one video game in January of '94. I had just rented Clay Fighter and was thankful I did. They took me to Good Guys and I bought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters. I had never played it before but it was #2 on my want game list that Christmas season, trailing only Clay Fighter. I grew up on the Ninja Turtles, and it looked like a terrific Street Fighter II clone. I loved the cover and will never forget seeing it at Good Guys looking all pretty in its wrapping. It seemed to call out to me and, right away, I knew it was the one. My mom and dad took the game over to the counter to pay for it, and I stood there nearly quaking in my shoes. What a wonderful belated Christmas gift!  It was the second SNES game my mom ever bought for me, just about one year after she'd bought me my first, King of the Monsters. It was time to see if Kerwin was right or not

Some clones gave you "game poisoning." Others were appetizers.
And some, you felt guilty enjoying... you played them in the dark.
But TMNT Tournament Fighters... it was a full blown course meal!

                                       "I THOUGHT OH SWEET LORD BUDDHA... I RAN FOR MY LIFE!"


The pizza-chucking-on-a-roof scene was classic. Look for it later!

                                       Suddenly the TV's hacked as a commercial halts the drug dealin'

Mike:  Hey, who hacked our tube?  This is SO NOT COOL, DUDES!
Raph: SHADDUP MIKEY!  I wanna hear this...
Don:  Amazing, I wonder what kind of device they used to hack our streaming service?
  Guys, there could only be one villain behind this...

Who can guess the closest price to an authentic shell kicking?

                                           A gnarly quick peek reveals a look at some unfamiliar faces

Ah-ha!  The rat has found his golden ticket at long last

                                                  They don't call him MASTER Splinter for nothing!

Hey, let's be real. I don't need a good plot in my fighting games

                                             This fancy and snazzy little bit is VINTAGE Konami, folks

The Ninja Turtles leap, roll and hack their way into action. Let the tournament begin!

Arguably the best Super Nintendo-exclusive fighting game...

                                       ... hell, I say it's one of the finest Super Nintendo games, PERIOD

You had four modes to select from, including a story battle where you use one of the turtles in a quest to find the missing Splinter and April O'Neil. The watch mode allows you to watch two computer opponents duke it out. It's rather odd, but hey, more options, more power to ya!
[Steve is a pervert who likes to watch two go at it -Ed.]

I've always enjoyed the presentation / vibe of most Konami titles. They had a classic, basic yet sleek look to them. You could always count on Konami to deliver the goods  ^_^

                                       There's even a code for Hi-Speed 3, which is insanely ultra speed

When I first saw this 20 years ago, I instantly said to my brother, "It's Martial Champion!"  We liked it.
It was different from most other fighting games which all seemed to have a very similar select screen. This one was different enough to be a bit of a stand out

I was so sad back then that there was no SNES Martial Champion

Martial Champion
came out February 1993. It was one of a thousand Street Fighter II clones flooding the market at the time. I rather fell in love with it, but I was basically sleeping with every fighting game that came out during that golden age of 1992 to around 1994. It was colorful, outlandish and a bit different from your average SF II clone

                                           I remember like it was yesterday picking Titi (AKA Chaos) first

Titi (renamed Chaos in the US) was my favorite character. It looked like a cross between Freddy Krueger and a Chinese hopping vampire!  Sold and sold!  The game was unique because you can do high jumps and you could disarm your opponent and steal their weapon and use it against them. Perhaps that's one reason why it never came out on the SNES. I guess I'll never know. Looking back, it wasn't a great fighting game or anything, but it was simply another fun entry in that epic era I like to fondly refer to as the 'Fighting Game Golden Age'
<3 Titi so much that I drew the damn thing as a kid!

Take a look and see for yourself!  Yeah, I know. I couldn't draw for jack shit but man... the memories of those fun and simple times. Running in those arcade halls with my old gaming crew, going from fighting game to fighting game. It was akin to a buffet lineup. A grand time those days were, indeed

                                        MARTRIAL Champions. Man, am I glad I learned how two spel..


Oh we'll get to the Genesis version a little later on, believe me...

Of the many things I love about this game the one I adore the most might be the stages. Just look at this one f'rinstance. First off, the idea of a duel to the death on a rooftop is appealing, but then you add in massive billboards and a pretty backdrop of some hotels and business buildings, including a nifty flashing neon Konami sign all set to an atmospheric night time hue, and what you have is a winner. Most of the stages in this game are chock full with detail, color (admittedly at times almost TOO much color), and oh yeah, cameos. You'll see tons of familiar faces from the TMNT universe scattered throughout, from foot soldiers to Neutrinos to Rocksteady and Bebop (though they should have been playable fighters but I digress). You'll battle it out everywhere, from shady back alleys to ancient ruins, sunken ships, raucous rock concerts, roaring trains and cafés filled with jukeboxes, neon signs and bloodthirsty spectators. The stages captured my imagination 20 years ago, and to this day, in my book, they're still some of the best backgrounds I've ever seen

What's a fighting game without some sort of stage select screen?  I've always liked the one here... with the Statue of Liberty front and center, and the little light that searches for the next stage. The sound effects here, as can be expected, are top-notch and firmly embedded in my mind 20 years later

I also dig how you can spot the big set pieces in the little avatars

                                       Good God, this game brings back so many nostalgic memories...


Height: 5'8"
Weight: 170 lbs.

The leader of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Leonardo is as straight-edge as they come. Focused and determined, his trusty katana blades often pushes him ahead of the competition. Not surprisingly, he plays like Ryu. Leo's never been my favorite turtle, but he's a solid all-around fighter, and an easy choice for beginning players. As expected, his swords provide him solid range. You can slice and dice to your heart's content... something I always wanted to see in the old cartoon but never did for obvious reasons -- but here you can fulfill those long forgotten childhood dreams

Hustlers, hot hookers and hoodlums litter this shady looking back alley. In an attempt to shed his choir boy, straight edge image, Leo invites his opposing rivals to meet him way out in this dilapidated part of town in the middle of the day, breaking the age-old ninja code of hiding in the shadows. Leo is ready, at last, to step outta his shell

                                       Where's Jesse Pinkman when you need him?  [Getting high -Ed.]

Leo crosses blades in both hands quickly to produce the fast hitting Shining Cutter. He can also spin out with both blades coming at ya in a move oddly named Endless Screw

What main fighting game character would be complete without a classic anti-air special attack?  The Roto Cutter doesn't cover much ground but it sure feels sweet when it hits

Thanks to the countless late nights training away in mind, body and spirit, Leo can pump his fists so fast that it creates an immense energy wave. It does take him a split second to put away his katana blades, so make sure you time the Millennium Wave correctly or else

                                                        Tired of the shadows, Leo takes to the mean streets

Height: 5'8"
Weight: 170 lbs

Though Mike was my favorite growing up, Raph is a very close second. It's hard not to like him. He was part of the team, but it always seemed like he was one small misstep from snapping [A snapping turtle? -Ed.]. Raph was easily the edgiest turtle of the lot, and he always exuded this aura of coolness. Maybe it's because he's a quasi-rebel and a hard-ass, and deep down, there's a little bit of that in all of us. He didn't use his sai weapons much in the old cartoon, but makes plenty of good use of them here, including a M. Bison torpedo-esque move that can be a pain in the neck to deal with. Just a shame Casey Jones isn't around as that's one fight I'd love to see!

I loved this background
as a kid. Hell, I love most of them, really. But Raph's cafeteria was definitely up there. It's got the classic long counter you'd find at any diner worth half its salt, a jukebox, a colorful neon sign that lights up and what is up with that strange looking cat in the middle there?  He looks like an ape and for pete's sake sir pull your shirt all the way down, son! Damn

                                        Part of me half expects Marty McFly to barge in any second now

Raph delivers one mean German Suplex, Guile-style. Very cool and impactful. However,
in the world of projectiles, Raph was short-changed. Those Konami rascals made it a half circle motion, and the Jamboree has got to be the smallest projectile I have EVER seen...

When your opponent aggressively pursues you, the Chest Buster will make them think twice next time. Raph's tremendous agility allows him to quickly roll forward, smashing his foe right between the eyes with his heel. Making perfect use of his sai, the Power Drill pays homage to M. Bison's Psycho Crusher. If blocked, it hits multiple times and you can even finish them off with a German Suplex. It's sure to raise the ire of your competition...

Raph channels all that anger deep inside of him, leaps high into the air and unleashes an unholy hell in the form of a thousand fireballs. Michael Jordan has nothing on Raphael's hang time. The Energy Spray does an excellent job at covering most of the playing field

                                       The maverick of the group, Raph has got some SERIOUS BALLS

Height: 5'8"
Weight: 170 lbs.

Often referred to as the brains of the group, Donatello is most commonly found buried behind working on his latest inventions. This time however, he's taking a firm stand to show he can not only hold his own, but that he's the most skilled fighter of his clan. His bo gives him good coverage and he's just plain fun to use, especially with his Cranium Crusher that is exclusive only to him. Plus, his Ultimate Attack ranks as one of the most memorable -- Donnie [Yen, apparently -Ed.] sends forth this ginormous dragon wave. It was jaw dropping back in '93, and 20 years later still puts a huge grin on my face whenever I see it. Don reminds us all he's more than just a brainiac

In a corner tucked far away from town lies a rundown scrapyard where the dirtiest of deeds go down. Classic characters from the cartoon, like the vigilante Casey Jones, and Baxter Stockman, make cameos here in a definite tip of the cap. When Don isn't busy scouring the scrapheap for random parts to tinker with, he's busy kicking some ass

                                       This must be where Jesse's RV was dismantled [no spoilers! -Ed.]

By far the COOLEST "grab hold" in fighting game history. Donny grabs ya, leans back
and greets you with a major cranium crushing knocker. Talk about super satisfying :-)

Fighting Game Rule #162: Someone *MUST* have a rapid-fire attack by means of madly tapping away at a button. Donatello honors the age old code of fighting game traditions

Bet you didn't know it's really Donatello who has the wild party side in the group, did ja? Look at him getting down. His Ground Claw travels fast but Headspin sadly not so much

One of the coolest looking Ultimate Attacks in the game, Donatello summons a magical, mystical and mythical dragon beast in a move that can only be called "DRAGON WAVE"

                                               I wish I could send forth a huge ass Dragon Wave in real life

Height: 5'8"
Weight: 170 lbs.

Easily my favorite Ninja Turtle growing up, every kid I knew identified themselves with Mikey at one point or another -- the classic fun-loving, pizza-craving party animal of the troupe. Michelangelo never really used his nunchucks in the old '80s cartoon, so it's a fan's dream come true to see him swinging them around here like no tomorrow. He plays like a tantalizing mix of Ryu and Blanka, with a cool arcing rolling attack and a deadly rising uppercut. Mikey's also got the best stage in the entire game, as well as one of the all-time greats in terms of stage design in SNES history. To cap it off, his Ultimate Attack is a swift and sick 10-hit all-out barrage, Dance of Fury

Hands down my favorite background of the game, hell, I'd put this up against any other fighting game stage on the SNES. The flashing Konami sign, the billboards on each side, the atmospheric city life with the bright lights, it's
a crime not to like this stage. I feel like Mikey goes here on the rooftop after picking up a pizza, and he just watches the city as he munches away

                                       Might be the best backdrop of any SNES fighting game I've seen

Mikey has got three of the coolest moves in the whole game. His Dragon Breath fireball
comes out of his mouth and he looks like a badass doing it. He's also got a very gnarly
rolling ball attack that contains a bit of an arc to it. The Dynamite Bomber can register
multiple hits as Mikey connects with his back and shoulders. Check out the splash of
blood!  Finally, his Rising Thunder is one of the best variations of Ryu's Dragon Punch

It's easy to forget what a fierce fighter Michelangelo can be due to his fun-loving, goofy nature. But when it's fighting time, very few know how to get down like Mike does. His Dance of Fury is a deadly furious 10-hit combo that culminates with the Rising Thunder, sending his battered foe high in the air, wishing they had never crawled onto his rooftop

                                                       "ATTACK!  DRAGON BREATH!  RISING THUNDER!"

Height: 8'
Weight: 400 lbs.

This guy had to be every kid's dream come true back in the day. At least he was for me. Who didn't drool at the thought of being a mutant shark? At the time I thought he was a brand new character constructed just for the game, but he actually comes from the comic book universe of Ninja Turtles fame, like quite a few of the other characters found in this game. His mission in life can be summed up in two words: world domination. While I was initially disappointed in the lack of familiar faces from the cartoon, I always liked Armaggon. Everything from his look to the giant octopus sitting in the middle of his stage... he's JAWESOME [You've jumped the shark -Ed.]

This stage used to creep me out when I was a kid.
If I were really fighting, I'd find it impossible to focus on my opponent with that grotesque abomination stalking my every move. Its eyes will literally track you wherever you go. Talk about unnerving. But it's also frigging awesome

                                            The eyes track your every movement. It's a little unsettling!

Don't mistake the Aqua Shock for a mere refreshing splash of water in the face on a scorching summer day. Armaggon shoots it out with such force that it would put any normal man in the hospital for a few weeks. In addition, Armaggon can dive jaw-first

To counter jump-happy suckers, the Fin Slicer is a deadly rude awakening that potentially can connect up to two times. The Fin Slicer strikes fast and covers a great deal of ground

When his back is against the wall, he'll flip out in a mad frenzy sending forth a HUGE
tidal wave. What's really cool about this Ultimate Attack is that it also doubles as a Fin Slicer attack... so if you're close enough, you can actually hit them with the Fin Slicer!

                                       No, he's not a reject from that TMNT copycat STREET SHARKS...

Height: 5'2"
Weight: 110 lbs.

Now here's a character who was made specifically for this game. Okay, so I have a small confession to make. When I was growing up, female fighters were never really my cup of tea. I just never associated female fighters as something that fitted a fighting game. I always wanted to pick either the Ryu clone, the "cool" Guile rip-off, or the freaks (stretch fighters, monsters and other assorted freaks). Female fighters, bless their hearts, simply never moved my meter. Back then the only one I liked to any sort of degree was Janne from the World Heroes series. Well, here's another rare like. I can't put my finger on exactly why, but Aska's always been cool in my book

In late 1993 there was a very popular SNK fighter by the name of Samurai Shodown. This backdrop always made me think of that game, and that is a very good thing. Noh is a classic Japanese drama dance show that surged sometime in the 14th or 15th century. The mutant frog which resides in the middle of the stage always intrigued me. I remember rumors circulating within my own gaming crew that the giant frog was a secret character you could use...

                                       Yo, I saw that giant frog years later in Psychic Assassin Taromaru

Aska has only really got two special moves, but she made each one count. The first is her Spin Attack, where she thrusts her Kunai and spirals at her competitor with fierce blazing velocity. The second is her trusty Spinning Uppercut. It strikes fast and long. See how the butterflies trail her as she ascends?  It's little details like that that makes a game special :)

Although she only has two special moves, these two "regular" moves sure left a lasting imprint on me as a ten year old child, who was just taught Sex Ed. in the 5th grade, ha!  The first one she snatches you, sticks her well, her private region deep in your face, and rides you to the ground. What you can't see here but made it even cooler was the recoil effect. The victim bounces hard off the stone floor while Aska does a beautifully elegant tuck roll. I suppose either attack brings to mind the old saying, "Man, what a way to go"

Using her ninja technique, Aska summons a tremendous whirlwind of a Tornado Blast.
It's sort of like a taller but much shorter version of Armaggon's Tsunami. While it looks
cool, it's usually not very effective. But it's not as big a flop as the TMNT III movie was...

                                                   Did you know: she's based off Mitsu from 1993's TMNT III

Height: 5'10"
Weight: 200 lbs.

Considering how most of the roster consists of antagonists NOT from the cartoon universe, Chrome Dome was a very welcomed addition. I love how Konami gave the token "stretch fighter" the game's biggest most damage-inducing throw (outside of the bosses). It's very cool as it's just something you didn't see in fighting games at all during that era. So in some ways, Chrome Dome felt like a slight mix of controlling Dhalsim and Zangief simultaneously, as he could stretch for defense and offense, and if you get too close to him, he could grab you and take you on one SHOCKING ride

Who knew tin head was so artsy fartsy?  With a penchant for the fine arts, the culturally cognizant Chrome Dome gets his kicks off on piledrivering his competition flat into the ground at the local art museum. Familiar cartoon faces make a spot cameo in the form of Mousers and the Neutrinos. 'GROOVY!'

                                       With the Neutrinos hanging around, I'm sad Traag didn't show up

The token stretch fighter, I used to dream about Chrome Dome vs. Brocken (the robotic stretch fighter from World Heroes) as a kid. Chrome's stretching ability comes in handy

It's so cool how his Chrome Spark changes color depending on which colored version of him you choose. He's also got a nifty short kick that can catch opponents off guard. Sick

Ah, the Electric Piledriver. One of my favorite moves. When you first see this, you might think, "oh big deal, it's Zangief's piledriver but without the spin action. LAME." But then once you see the electricity tacked on, you can't help but grin. The impact is impressive!  Plus I love how he recoils back gracefully as his victim bounces high. I also remember it fondly for being the first big throw in fighting games that was executed via down, up and punch + kick. The move put a slight wrinkle on everything, from looks to command ^_^

The only character so badass that he can literally blow himself up and yet still come back to kick your ass. The Chrome Bomb is an explosive [oh dear -Ed.] act of self-preservation and foul malice. Chrome Dome always reminded me of Brocken. In World Heroes Perfect, Brocken's HERO DESPERATION move is eerily similar to this. Turnabout is fair play, eh?

                                                   Chrome Dome: an ass-kicking, culturally-hip kind of 'bot

Height: 6'6"
Weight: 280 lbs.

This ain't your regular Shredder you remember bumbling around in the '80s cartoon. No, far from that. Indeed, this is your worst nightmare yet. This is... THE SHREDDER ON STEROIDS. This is Cyber Shredder, a walking weapon of destruction. Part of me wishes we got the '80s version instead, for nostalgic reasons. But I'm glad he's in it. It just wouldn't be Ninja Turtles without a Shredder. Speaking of which... I was saddened to hear about the passing of one, James Avery, earlier this month. Better known as Uncle Phil, Avery was the voice of the late '80s and early '90s Shredder. When I found that out in the late '90s or so, I never looked at Shredder the same way ever again

On the outskirts of town, there exists an iniquitous construction site that is rumored to have been taken over by the evil and nefarious Cyber Shredder and his Foot Clan. There are even whispers on the street, though apocryphal, that the police themselves dare not step foot onto the Cyber Shredder's hot new territory. It's considered a lost part of town and most have turned a blind eye in exchange for their safety. All hail the mighty Foot!

                                       No one speaks of it as they refer to it as the 'Wrong Side of Town'

Metal mouth doesn't have a projectile of his own, but his Aura Shield deflects any projectiles that come his way. Handy little sucker for fireball-friendly opponents

His Aura Crusher hits up to two times. The sharp blades slices them up real bad. Blood is not uncommon. And for those who feel froggy, the Knee Crush quickly discourages that

Emitting a massive burst of electricity, the Lightning Crusher is a devastating maneuver. An electric trail snakes along the ground for good measure... just in case you manage to evade it up close and personal. The Shredder has been known for his electrifying persona

                                                                          "TONIGHT, I DINE ON TURTLE SOUP!"

Height: 8'
Weight: 350 lbs.

A savage bipedal triceratops?  Sign me up!  Those were my sentiments when I first laid eyes on him some odd 20 years ago. Originating from the comics, he was one of the Four Horsemen, along with Death, Famine and Pestilence. A real shame considering the superb look and cool name. He goes down in fighting game history as one of the most disappointing fighters ever. He's limited to two special moves that aren't too hot. Thankfully, his stage stands out and his Ultimate Attack is a rip-roaring attention grabber. War hurls himself around the screen like a pinball of destruction!

It's a beautiful sunny day, with only a couple clouds hanging overhead. Your breath is taken away as you look around at all the beautiful sights, until you catch sight of your old bumbling rivals, Bebop and Rocksteady. You chuckle to yourself as a savage roar erupts nearby. A giant 8 foot tall armored monster leaps within 10 feet of ya, the sunshine shimmering off his razor sharp talons. And just as quick, your smile fades...

                                       ... but it returns as soon as you find out War is but an ole softie...

Limited to two rather ho-hum special moves, War definitely looks cooler than how he plays. His first special move is the Turning Uppercut. Unfortunately, the move doesn't
react as quickly as other similar moves from other fighting games, thus hampering its effectiveness. His second special move, Death From Above, fares better. War leaps up
high and comes crashing down with all his weight and razor sharp 12" talons. OUCH!

Surrounding his entire body with immense energy, War transforms himself into a blazing ball of light -- bouncing wildly around the screen causing damage to anything caught in its wake. The War Dynamic is the epitome of super moves: flashy, cool looking and fun!

                                                 Somebody's overdue for a manicure and pedicure I'd say...

Height: 6'
Weight: 300 lbs.

I remember thinking to myself, "Why this bastard over a classic fan fave like Bebop or Rocksteady?" Wingnut appeared briefly in the '80s cartoon series and had a much bigger role in the comics. He's the very definition of an "unorthodox fighter."  It will take a highly skilled player to get the most out of his unusual offensive skillset. His buddy, Screwloose, is nowhere to be found here. Possessing a somewhat awkward moveset, and considering how his Ultimate Attack can be a total flop, to his credit he's got one of the most bitchin' stages in fighting game history. What's better than a rock concert while watching two combatants knock the stuffing out of each other?

Wingnut, the master of soundwaves, is hardly a stranger to loud noise. Whereas it distracts and even causes damage to the ear drums of most mere mortals, Wingnut relishes on such raucous and frenzied environments. From the HEAVY METAL headbanging to the strobe lights and the t-rex twins, the ringing Thunder Dome produces a mad rocking atmosphere like no other. The audience is more than happy to pay top dollar for this BARBARIC MASHUP

                                       It's the soundtrack of rock 'n roll and violence MASHED together

Not really an offensive move, though it may help set you up for one (see what I mean
when I said he's about as unothrodox as they come?), Wingnut can hover in the middle
of a jump. This can throw your opponent off and allow you to swoop in for some damage

The Power Dive is more effective than most others of its kind. Hey, remember how slow Dhalsim's twisting headbutt is?  Or Armaggon's own jaw dive?  Not so here as Wingnut dives at you like a total nutjob, with no regard for human life! </Kevin Harlan> He's also got one of the strangest projectiles in the form of one, the Moonbuster. Awesome name, but it can only be performed in mid-air and comes at an awkward angle. Weird fighter...

On one hand, he's got the absolute worst and lamest Ultimate Attack in the game...

... yet on the other hand if you can connect, it's the craziest and most powerful Ultimate Attack of them all!  Not that it happens often, as it's far too easy to see coming, but once
in a blue moon(buster), when it
*DOES* connect, it's a thing of beauty. 20 years ago as a
kid I used to fondly refer to the Mad Spectre as the 'EVIL EYEBALLS OF DESTRUCTION'

                                                 Wingnut is a god with the Thunder Dome's crazed savages

April, I noticed something. Shit goes down when you're around!

                                            Rat King is a powerhouse. I prefer his classic cartoon look

In the comics, Rat King had a telepathic super power where he could communicate with his rats. In the '80s cartoon show he had to use a flute. He's always been a cool cat [rat? -Ed.] in my book, and I just wish we saw more familiar faces from the cartoon than the comics. Although I realize by late 1993 the cartoon series was not nearly as in demand as it once was

Where's my Casey Jones, Bebop, Rocksteady and Krang, damnit!

Studio 6 is where they film this game show format for Tournament Fighters. High school cheerleaders adorn the stage. A badly missed opportunity at a sewer-based stage. If you're not going to give it to one of the turtles, then at least give it to the Rat King (AKA the King of the Sewers). This game has plenty of cool stages, but this one was rather dull :(

                                        At least the Japanese version made it slightly more interesting...

Rat King for such a big guy is fairly agile. His Super Dropkick will send anyone packing, as will his tricky little flip kick. His Dropkick is dangerous because it could set up the.....

... RAT BOMBER!  A devastating move that eats a large chunk of your energy. Rat King hoists you up, leaps high into the air and slams you mercilessly with stupendous force

Channeling all the rage within him, he unleashes every last ounce of it in a mega bomb known as the Shock Sphere. A ball of fierce energy completely engulfs his raging body

                                       Somebody needs Axe Body Spray... [*KA-CHING* Sponsors -Ed.]

"Damn, bitch, do you EVER have good news??"

                                       Karai is, hands down, one of the most annoying end bosses ever

A duel to the death atop
a screaming metro train. Mr. Vernon Fenwick from Channel 6 News captures the chaos for all to see from the comforts of their home. Perhaps Konami knew all along just how bloodthirsty humanity is...

Karai is now a very popular, well-known character in TMNT-dom!

Ugh, I so hated this move back then, and still do now. Even if you block it, it fills up
her bloody meter fast. Either way, you lose and she wins. Like I said, I hate this boss

This Flying Slam will drive the air right out of you, in addition to some broken ribs

Similar to Shredder and Rat King, Karai's Dark Thunder sees her body being completely surrounded by a tremendous blast of pure energy. Bolts shoot out from her eyes as well

                                          How many fighting games feature a female as its final boss??


The endings, I am sad to say, are quite lame. Two pictures (with hit-or-miss art) and a few text messages are all you get for the hard work of beating this rather difficult video game


Like most fighting games of the early-mid '90s, there lies breakable furniture in some of the stages. It's a damn classic staple of the genre. The ones here are, admittedly, a bit 'weak' [I see what you did there -Ed.], but hey, they're there

If it ain't broke, don't fix it  [HA-HA. I see what you did there -Ed.]

Speaking of um, bonuses, check out probably my all-time most favorite fighting game bonus stage around. Destroying bank safes one after another? Sign me up!

                                         I think it just speaks to a 10 year old boy's desire to DESTROY

I loved the idea that someone was dropping these bad boys from the sky like a madman. They kept raining down, and you had to bust 'em up until there were none left. It was extremely satisfying and I much rather play this than any other I can recall

You know Konami. They really made you believe it was real coins

Besides the concept and killer sound effects, I love this bonus round because unlike 90 to 95% of bonus rounds you come across in this genre, this one is actually quite challenging. You had to have a plan of attack rather than just mindlessly smash away. There were enough safes that ya barely had enough time, and it was SO cool how they can topple over

                                       See the $100 bills? That's EARTHBOUND money right there playa

Sure. I mean, leave it to Mikey to be the voice of reason, right?

                                         DAMN THAT'S GOTTA LEAVE A NASTY MARK. My bad, yo...


There a few notable differences between the American and Japanese versions of the
SNES game. In TMNT: Mutant Warriors (to give it its Japanese namesake), among the differences include Rat King's extra stage bit, where warriors are knocked through the
wall, and Aska was a little more revealing as you can see there. Them Japanese pervs!


In what very well might be the first and ONLY time in gaming history, Konami released simultaneously three games of the same name on the NES, Genesis and SNES, but with very different game engines and rosters. While cool of them to diversify like that, it was clear SNES owners received the superior version. The Genesis version is broken and by comparison, crap. The 8-bit NES game is not even worth talking about from a gameplay standpoint; although, it does make for a fun virtual water cooler topic as far as near final NES releases go. The NES was gasping its last breath by late '93, the Genesis was starting to look like the grandfather on the block, and the SNES... was just hitting its prime. With Tournament Fighters released across all three platforms, it was clear (at least in my mind) who the king of the jungle was. I was happy to own all three systems, but SNES was KING


This game was chock full of secrets and codes...

                                          But one stood out amongst them as ever elusive and hidden...

And on a cold night in January '94, I somehow cracked the code!

                                                          Well, it ends as legendary as it began...

I sat there completely dumbfounded, my jaw on the ground. I had to do a double take. Right
there in my friend's room, I had the ability to play as the Rat King or Karai. I ran downstairs to
tell my friends about it. I still remember the skeptical looks on their faces, and how they kept saying, "Dude, this better not be a hoax. I'm about to stuff myself silly on this KFC shit!"
Yeah, the parents ordered KFC take out that night I still recall vividly. They followed behind me
as I took the stairs 2 steps at a time. I stood at the doorway and stretched my hand out as to welcome them in. One by one they filed in and I stood there still in the doorway smiling when I heard the collective HOLY SHIT! cries. I can't tell you how red my hand got that night because
of all the high fives they gave me. They asked what the code was, and sadly, I had no clue. We left the game on the entire night. Just so we could play as the bosses. Such was it a sign of the times. When we finally turned it off at 12 something in the morning, we turned it right back on so
I could try the code again. No such luck. Whatever I punched in randomly before was now gone

The very next month I saw this printed in the pages of EGM...

The infamous boss code. Right there in all its glory. Looking back, it's a fond memory for me. The thrill of cracking the code, the joys of sharing it with my friends, creating a lifetime memory. Back then, you couldn't just log into damn GameFAQs for your hints and secrets, oh no. It was either through tip sections in gaming magazines like such, or plain discovering 'em yourself through dumb luck. Discovering the boss code made me the man of my group for that one epic night, anyhow, and I recall with deep fondness just the sights, sounds and smells of that great night. The KFC aroma in the air, the thundering footsteps up the stairs, the tingling rush that I felt sweeping every fiber of my being when I saw Rat King and Karai on the select screen, the cries of sheer joy from my friends, as though we just collectively won the Mega Million Lottery, and the stinging high fives. Man, we must have played like 3 straight hours that night. Boss code, how I miss you and your simplicity. Boy, were things different back then. I'm very grateful I was lucky enough to be growing up when times were simpler and more... well, magical. When gaming with friends was all that mattered

<------ Look, the bitch is taunting and teasing me! GRR! [No, I think you just went mental. Actually, it's hard to tell the difference -Ed.]. I had discovered the most wanted code and almost won a free game, but couldn't remember it anyway, so Konami giving it to EGM first was a moot point as it would turn out. I suppose that softened the blow for not being able to remember the damn code!

20 years ago this all went down, eh?  Oh my, I'm a dinosaur now

                                                                     WHAT THE CRITICS SAID

Tournament Fighters
was received well by the press. It garnered high scores across the board and I can't recall anyone ever having a bad thing to say of it. From the critics to regular gamers like you and me, the game was beloved and extolled by many. It is also widely regarded as one of the better fighting games on the SNES. EGM gave it scores of 8, 9, 9 and 9. GameFan rated it 85, 92, 96 and 96%. Super Play Magazine scored it 90%. It was not only one of the BEST fighting games of 1993, but one of the best games, period, that year. One play and it's easy to see why the game had so many diehard supporters. It succeeds where most clones fail miserably at: it's fun, fast, fluid and it's the TEENAGE MUTANT f*ckin' NINJA TURTLES!

                                       Konami serves up yet another SNES classic. LET'S KICK SHELL!

Tournament Fighters joins the canonization of great SNES games

                                       It built up a massive tidal wave of supporters [Ya had to huh -Ed.]


Tournament Fighters is a fantastic fighting game. In fact I think of it as the best SNES-exclusive fighter. In an age where crap clones were slapped together and shipped out the door like no tomorrow, Tournament Fighters was groomed for success. It's packed full of quality from top to bottom. Those graphics are bright, crisp and classic mid '90s SNES magic. The sound and music are both right on the mark, with tunes you can rock out to. The fighting game engine just feels right. Jumps aren't floaty. Physics don't feel off. Everything was pretty much spot on quality. It's extremely polished, much like many 'AAA' titles are. What can I say, I loved it 20 years ago, and even still to this day I'll play it for a round or two, or 50. It's not better than Street Fighter II Turbo but came DAMN closer than most

20 years later, this ONE HIT WONDER still awaits a proper sequel

But best of all, how about the wild Ultimate Attacks, eh?  Whether you prefer
to call them desperation moves, super specials or death moves, there's no denying they are a game changer. They added an extra layer to the battles, encouraging the player to be offensive-minded. For balance, the weaker your health, the easier it would be to fill up your extra bar. Likewise, the stronger you are, the harder it is to fill it up. Tournament Fighters did a lot of things RIGHT, but for me... the Ultimate Attacks come to mind first. Whether it was a giant ass mythical dragon or a deadly tidal wave screaming across the TV, it was jaw dropping and all part of the fun. They still impress 20 years later, and like fine wine, the game has aged tremendously well. Konami delivered again, crafting a finely tuned fighting game that exudes meticulous care and is bursting with quality from every seam. Sure, a bigger roster including the likes of Rocksteady, Bebop, Krang, and Casey Jones would have been perfect, but the list of negatives are short and brief. A must-own for TMNT fans, Tournament Fighters is THE best home-grown fighter on the Super Nintendo. "COWABUNGA!"

Graphics: 9
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 9
Longevity: 9

Overall: 9.0

Gold Award

Konami sure did, as they often did back in the '90s. There aren't many home-grown fighting games on the SNES, and the only ones giving Tournament Fighters any run for its money are: Ranma ½: Chōgi Rambu Hen and Gundam Wing: Endless Duel. Some other SNES-grown fighters are: Tuff Enuff, WeaponLord and Double Dragon V [Damn you for bringing that one up -Ed.]. Of all of 'em, I'd happily want to play this game the most. To me it is a LEGIT classic Super Nintendo game. And it's one of the better Super Nintendo games around, not just in the fighting game genre. It has been 20 years since the Ninja Turtles made their last appearance on Nintendo's 16-bit wonder. It's a quality fighting game with an engine that stands the test of time well. I still break it out on occasion to pass the odd evening or two. I will forever harbor fond memories of this game, from Kerwin's unbelievable stamp of approval to my parents buying it after Christmas to the night I randomly discovered the "hottest" code in demand at the time... DAMN, the nostalgic goodness just goes on and on. Tournament Fighters, I salute thee!

Rest In Peace James Avery. You will be missed. 11.27.45-12.31.13

                                       Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time... coming soon!

The Ninja Turtles' least favorite part in BREAKING BAD

Extra Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters material:

Awesome combo video. Best one on the internet. Must-see TV!

All Ultimate Attacks on display, featuring both blocked and unblocked. Sick!